Showcasing both an everyday attentiveness to his surroundings and making visible legacies of extraction that might not be readily apparent in the landscape. In(hospitable) makes reference to the infraestructural failures that make residing in Puerto Rico challenging and challenges the pictorial conventions that depict the tropics as paradisiacal. In(hospitable) in its gesture of subversion asks if there is potential in the hostile.
Gamaliel Rodriguez turns to the immediacy of his own home in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico in a series of large- scale drawings created in the past year. Continuing his interrogation of the Puerto Rican landscape, Rodriguez foregrounds the failure of infrastructure and alludes to a dystopic future that is the byproduct of extraction, experimentation, military occupation, and a failed project of modernization. Likewise, as this new series of drawings foregrounds, the artist’s work stems from a sustained, committed, and attentive engagement with the area which he inhabits.
Gamaliel Rodriguez: (In)hospitable is made possible by funds from CMCA’s Suzette McAvoy Fund, and by donors and members.
About the artist
Gamaliel Rodríguez (b. 1977 in Puerto Rico) is a visual artist based in Puerto Rico. He works with pencil, ink, acrylic and ballpoint pen to produce aerial and street views of artificial industrial, military, and civilian structures in Puerto Rico and US territories. Memories are manipulated into dystopian, apocalyptic drawings that imagine the collapse of global infrastructure into ruin.
Rodríguez received his BA from the University of Sacred Heart in San Juan PR in 2004; his MFA from the Kent Institute of Art and Design in 2005 and the prestigious Skowhegan School of painting and Sculpture in Maine USA in 2011; and has participated in numerous residencies. Rodríguez’s work has been included in both solo and group exhibitions such as at MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA): the SCAD Museum in Savannah; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (San Juan); Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the Whitney Museum of American Art (both New York). He was a 2022-2023 Resident Fellow at Colby College’s Lunder Institute. This is his first solo exhibition in Maine.
Header Image: Gamaliel Rodriguez, Natural power at my front yard, Acrylic, Ink and Gold Leaf on paper, 72 x 104 in, 2022
Footer Image: Gamaliel Rodriguez, The great survivor, Acrylic, Ink and Gold Leaf on paper, 72 x 52 in, 2022